Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Angry Grandpa Look

Video Find of the Day

Tuesday, a bunch of us from the Real Change Organizing project (RCOP) and friends went to a meeting of the Public Safety, Human Services, and Education committee of the Seattle City Council, and spoke during the public comment period. Committee chair Tim Burgess was very generous with the time, letting us speak nearly 20 minutes, twice the time we were supposed to have.

[Above: Anitra tells 'em what for.]

When we planned it, we planned two designated speakers who would use time reserved by others in the group. Apparently that's how its done for other council meetings, but we found out they don't do it like that at the old PSHS&E so we adapted on the fly, and instead of two speak long, eleven of us took turns at it, trying to cover all the points we had previously discussed.

I can't or don't know how to embed the video, but I will have a link to it below. It's at the Seattle Channel website for now and will probably be there for at least a few months.

The whole video runs over 2 hours and 40 minutes. I've only seen the first 23 minutes of it that has the public comment period. I'll be wanting to look at some of the rest of it, because it should have some comments by Bill Block on the Ten Year Plan to Plan Planfulness, and I'm sure I would benefit from seeing that.

Some notes regarding the public comment portion:

The public comments start at about 2:30 (2 minutes 30 seconds) on the video.

The first guy who speaks about his proposal, to put to death 4 time drug crime convicts, is not one of our group. We never saw him before in our lives. All the other speakers came in with us.

The first RCOP speaker is vendor Michael Garcia, at around the 4:50 mark. He was one of the two original speakers we had intended to take all our time. Burgess let him run longer than the two minutes alloted. I was next on the list but deferred as planned to my woman, Anitra Freeman, who was our other designated speaker, and that was when Tim Burgess said they don't do things that way. So Anitra adjusted by giving a shorter speech than anticipated, although it still went over two minutes. She starts about 7:20. You should definitely see that part, because you don't always get to see Anitra so angry in public.

After that they ran through the list of the others of us who had signed up. Each person spoke around a minute or two. When the list was used up Burgess let others who hadn't signed up also speak. That included Real Change Director Tim Harris who appears at about 18:30.

Doug McKeehan follows Tim, and I rounded up the lot of us, speaking last at around the 21:00 mark for a mere one minute 15 seconds. For Cindy Holly is my Muse, and she is the Muse of Few Words. It may look like I'm reading a script but the paper in my hand is just a crossword puzzle I was working on. My eyes are lowered because I'm channeling a scolding grumpy grandpa.

[Above: Grandpa is very, very, disappointed with the behavior of you children.]

For the record, and to make up for not bringing the mic up closer, here's a transcript of my off-the-cuff remarks with the "uhs" and "ahs" deleted, and with some attempts at added clarity:

"I would like to agree with Tim -- I think that the protocols are illegitimate.There's [been] no input from the community that is affected by the rules. The rules of [a] government should reflect the participation of the people that are ruled over."

"Also, there's a lot of secrecy involved in this. We didn't even know about the protocols that were originally established until months after they were established, and we found out because of a FOIA -- by using the Freedom of Information Act -- and that's outrageous. That we're talking about it now at all is because we raised hell about that [forcing the administration to revisit the protocols in a more public way.]"

"And there's still secrecy involved. We don't know how many people have been swept in all of this [or how many camps.] We haven't been able to get that information. I think the City Council has an obligation to make sure that the secrecy ends."

The video is here.

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